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Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal

Abstract

The fully digital radiology department remains a radiologist's dream. The technology necessary for implementation does not yet exist other than in prototype form. When the technology catches up with the radiologist's ideas, many new capabilities will exist. Electronically stored images will be available for viewing wherever a computer terminal exists. The problem of film loss would be nonexistent. Images could be quickly transmitted for interpretation via microwave networks to sites far removed from where they are acquired. Patient radiation exposure would decrease. Computers would help decrease perception errors and would assist in image interpretation. It may be ten years before a working digital radiology department exists. However, many processes developed toward this end are now gradually being incorporated into radiology departments. One must therefore be familiar with digital imaging. We present a review of the current state of the art in digital radiography. Various methods of image capture are discussed comparing pencil-beam, fan-beam, and area-beam systems. Magnetic tape, digital disk, bubble memory, and other methods of image storage are presented with a brief description of their technical and financial limitations. Teleradiology is also discussed citing current working examples of various systems. An overview of image processing is included.

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